On December 14, 1979, at a fund-raising gala for the Tung Wah Group of Hospitals, Adam drew on his self-taught repertoire, learned from cassette tapes, to sing’ Before ShanBuo Passed Away’ (from the Cantonese Opera) and win wild acclaim from the audience. Later when the Cantonese Opera Troupe from Guangdong came to perform in Hong Kong, Adam met the original singer of this song, Chan Siu-fung. On June 20, 1980, with much support from some others, Adam was officially accepted as Chan’s first direct disciple. At the acceptance banquet, Adam marked the occasion with a gift to the master of a diamond-studded gold-plated pen. Chan returned the favor with a piece of monkey-shaped jade. This special master-student relationship was to become a much repeated anecdote in the entertainment industry.


Completion of ’The Switch’ in May 1982 marked the end of Adam’s contract with HK-TVB Ltd, which he did not renew, in view of other prospects. Three movies followed: ’Cat Versus Rat’ and ’Shaolin vs Wutang’, both directed by Adam’s teacher, Lau Kar-leung, and ’ Zu-Warriors of the Magic Mountains’ directed by Tsui Hark. In the same year, Chor Lau Heung was broadcast by the Taiwan China Television Company Ltd (CTV) to reach a record audience rating of 70%. This sparked a huge demand for Hong Kong-produced TV series that was so overwhelming that the Information Office in Taiwan imposed a ban on all TV series from Hong Kong to protect local television production. This record high rating was such that it remains a legendary feat to this day. In the space of one night, Adam Cheng had taken Taiwan by storm. It was said that at 8 o’clock every Sunday evening it was very difficult to hail a taxi, because all the taxi drivers were rushing home to watch Chor Lau Heung on TV. By popular demand, Adam was invited to Taiwan for a concert appearance. Tens of thousands of people gathered to catch a glimpse of him in person. After the spell cast on Taiwan by the Chor Lau Heung’s series, film producers were all very keen to invite Adam to film in Taiwan. 


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